Tag Archives: Vancouver

The Pacific Herring Spawn and Nurseries Project

A citizen scientist project to photograph Pacific herring spawn along the West Coast, from Alaska down to California, has been underway for close to two months. It is based in the Comox-Courtenay area, and one of its many partners is the Friends of Cortes Island (FOCI).

Project lead Jacqueline Huard, a scientist with Project Watershed,  explained, “I work with the Coastal Forage Fish Network. We are very community scientist based and working on a herring project in iNaturalist just was a natural fit for us. I wanted to encourage the folks that we work with to put their data somewhere where they could also access it. The goal is twofold, both to collect some data and address a gap, but also to get it out to the public and have a publicly available data set for the public created by community scientists.”

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Medical detox coming to Campbell River

Greater Campbell River has one of highest rates of drug related deaths in BC.

The first community-based medical detox north of Nanaimo will be opening in Campbell River this Fall. Island Health secured a location at 731 Nicholas Road near the North Island Hospital – Campbell River campus. 

“This is a really exciting addition to Campbell River.  When people living with addiction reach out and make that brave choice of getting the services that they need, we’d need to be able to meet them where they are and with the services that they need right away. This is a new six bed medical detox that the community has been asking  for,” explained  Michele Babchuk, MLA for North Island and a resident of Campbell River. 

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Youth face barriers to overdose harm reduction, say front-line workers

Editor’s note: There were 47 drug related deaths in the Greater Campbell River Health Area during 2023. This is the third worst drug related death rate on Vancouver Island, only surpassed by Victoria (145) and Nanaimo (116). There were 31 drug related deaths in Greater Campbell River during 2022 and 26 in 2021

Greater Campbell River is a health area that stretches from the Oyster River to Sayward on the east coast of Vancouver Island, and includes Discovery Island communities like Cortes, Quadra and Read, but the epicentre of this public health emergency is the city of Campbell River.  According to BC emergency Health Services, paramedics responded to 681 drug overdose calls in Campbell River last year. The numbers have kept increasing every year since COVID arrived in March 2020 and did not decrease after the period of self distancing ended. There were 525 callouts in 2022, 404 in 2021 and 249 in 2020. In the four years prior to that, the call numbers fluctuated from a low of 152 in 2016 to a high of 230 in 2018.

By Alexandra Mehl, Ha-Shilth-Sa, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

With the toxic drug crisis as the leading cause of death for British Columbians aged 10 though 59, nearly 170 youth, aged 18 and under, have lost their lives since 2017. According to experts, not enough research and monitoring has been done to assess the impacts of the crisis on young people, who also face barriers when accessing harm reduction services.

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What They Heard: The Cortes Housing Report

The ‘What We Heard Report,’ from Cortes Island’s Housing Forum and the subsequent Housing Survey, has been released. 

“This is a really exciting document for Cortes. The intention of this forum that we did with the Cortes Housing Society and the Housing Survey was really to listen to Cortes and understand what the housing challenges are. We already had a pretty good idea from previous reports and information, but this really gave us a good sense of what the challenges are and then what do people want us to move forward with?” explained Mark Vonesh, Regional Director for Cortes Island. 

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